Three different states. Three different days. Same sordid story. The opioid crisis is continuing to take its toll, all across America. And all across the country, Americans are fighting for their very lives.

In Tennessee, a Knox News piece by Rachel Ohm covering the highlights of the 2018 Economic Report to the Governor released by the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee would’ve been nothing but rosy if not for the crisis caveat.

“Tennessee's economic outlook is good, but the opioid crisis is taking a toll on the state's labor market,” writes Ohm.

Amid an analysis extolling “the third-longest period of economic growth since World War II,” were dire warnings “of the impact the nation's opioid crisis could have on Tennessee's labor market, including higher county unemployment rates, lower rates of labor force participation and diminished employment-to-population ratios.”

“The [Boyd] report estimated that a 10 percent reduction in per capita opioid prescriptions would lead to an additional $825 million in income for Tennesseans from enhanced labor market participation.”

In South Carolina, an editorial in The (Charleston) Post and Courier states “addiction is nothing less than a public health emergency, and Gov. Henry McMaster is right to recognize the problem as such.”

“On Monday [December 18] Mr. McMaster announced that new designation, signed an executive order limiting initial post-emergency opioid prescriptions to five days and created an Opioid Emergency Response Team that will study the issue over the next six months.”

“That’s the right approach in a state where prescription opioid and heroin overdoses claimed more than 600 lives last year,” continues the editorial, “and prompted thousands of lifesaving emergency calls.”

Governor McMasters’ concomitant Twitter post made clear his position: “We will fight this and we will win.”

And in Michigan, both the City of Detroit and the neighboring County of Macomb are suing drug companies over the opioid epidemic.

As John Wisely reports in the Detroit Free Press:

“On Tuesday, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced the lawsuit, which includes the cities of Lansing and Escanaba, and Delta and Chippewa counties in the Upper Peninsula.”

"It's not that we want to profit from litigation, we want to stop it through litigation," Hackel said, noting that opioid-related deaths in his county rose 134% in 2016. A similar increase this year would push the annual death toll to more than one a day.”

"Enough is enough."

The lawsuit comes two months after adjacent Oakland and Wayne counties announced a similar suit for the costs they have incurred responding to the opioid crisis, writes Wisely.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said his county logged 817 opioid-related deaths in 2016, up from 506 in 2015. Oakland County reported 165 opioid-related deaths in 2016, according to the lawsuit.

As a reminder of where many addicts end up, the two county leaders spoke inside the autopsy suite of the Macomb County Medical Examiner's Office, in front of a steel door that leads to a cooler where corpses are stored.

"There is a financial burden, but there's a bigger human burden," Duggan said. "I've heard the story from so many people. A loved one goes into the hospital for a surgery or some other medical procedure and they end up with an addiction that can severely damage their life."

Unfortunately, Mayor Duggan’s words could easily apply to every city in America.

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